I would like to congratulate The Cheltenham Post for its front page feature about the cost of policing here in Gloucestershire.
I would also like to congratulate our independent Police & Crime Commissioner Martin Surl for the excellent job he is doing both as commissioner but also in engaging with tax payers about the cost of policing.
Personally I think it was a huge mistake to politicise the commissioner role, for me it should not be a politician, they have enough say in our lives as it is, and I speak as one! So as an independent with previous police experience, well done Martin.
So back to the subject of the cost of policing. It is quite clear from the facts that we in Gloucestershire get a poor deal from the Government. In the coming year they will fund just over half of the total cost leaving the local tax payer to fund the difference - but across the country they will fund two-thirds of the cost.
This is a huge and unfair disparity and will really hit local people, particularly those on lower incomes at a time when food banks have never been in such demand.
I wish Martin Surl every success in trying to persuade this Government to treat Cheltenham and Gloucestershire fairly.